Tag Archives: sexual assault

The Difference Between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

The most recent development in the Herman Cain sexual harassment saga occurred yesterday. A fourth woman spoke out about Herman Cain sexually harassing her while working for the National Restaurant Association. I was curious as to what Herman Cain reportedly did, so I watched the press conference. What she said did not paint a pretty picture of the presidential candidate. This is what she says Cain did:

[Herman Cain] stuck his hand up her skirt and tried to pull her head toward his crotch.

“I said, ‘What are you doing?’” alleged Bialek, who said she had contacted Cain for help getting a job. “You know I have a boyfriend. This isn’t what I came here for.”

According to Bialek, Cain answered, “You want a job, right?”

This got me wondering if this was a case of sexual harassment, or if it crossed into sexual assault. So I started to Google terms. According to Wikipedia, sexual assault can also be sexual harassment (other sources seem to agree with these definitions).

Sexual harassment is intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors.

The term sexual assault is used, in public discourse, as a generic term that is defined as any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented.

This incident falls under both of those categories. And according to a lawyer from a New York law firm, this incident is “more of a sexual assault.”

So now I know the difference, and so do you (if you didn’t already).

[I'm going to try to stop blogging about Herman Cain now, which will be hard because he provides so much good material.]

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